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Offshore Content Development; The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

November 5, 2010 | Comments Off on Offshore Content Development; The Good, The Bad and the Ugly


By Kenneth Middleton

Offshore is the “Buzz-word” Today

There is a huge demand for content development today. It has been firmly acknowledged that Content is King as far as search engine rankings go, and as anyone who is anyone has a web presence and wants to be ranked top of the “Google” pops; website owners and other content users, know that their copy or editorial has to be better than good. Because there is such a massive demand for content development, we are also looking for ways to cut cost and offshore copy writing as well as website and all other related WWW development and management has become the buzz-word today.

The Good!

Asian countries have become world famous as hubs for outsourcing offshore, from putting together a famous brand running shoe, to constructing top of the range toys. Highly skilful, and yet inexpensive resources can cater in many instances to all of your business needs and deliver a viable solution. Custom content development is possible, Asian offshore operations are generally highly motivated, dedicated and very hard working. They provide cost effective services and are well known for cost managed growth.

The Bad!

On the other side of the coin misunderstanding can be a huge problem, in particular with outsourcing to Asian countries. There is a definite language barrier and having worked with Indian, Ukrainian, and Chinese outsourcers myself. Indian content developers pride themselves on their English skills, however I have still learned that it is vital to give and ask for clear concise instruction repeatedly, until both parties are in agreement. This way some of the challenges are minimized, but things do take more time to get right the first time around. Compatibility levels must be raised by both parties to ensure a positive outcome.

In terms of quality content development there is a definite lack of understanding regarding local flavor and have found that most Indian web/blog developers outsource the content part of the development, back out again to English speaking writers in areas more local for the product. This brings a third party into the equation.

The Ugly

The more parties involved in offshore content development, the easier it is that instructions will be misunderstood. It’s a bit like playing broken telephone. We have even had offshore writers interview for an ongoing position; who have sent samples of “their” work and based on this we have employed them. Only to find weeks later when the content arrives, in no way was this the same writer! But this is the risk you take when looking for services in relationship with cutting costs. This may set a project completion date back by weeks, or even months.


By and large offshore content development and management is a relevant cost saving solution. However be prepared for it to take up more time than you may have planned for, and you need to keep your finger on the button continually for a successful outcome.